US Manufacturing Falls From Near 4-Decade High On Supply Bottlenecks - ISM

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 04th May, 2021) The US manufacturing index fell to a four decade low in April as supply chains buckled under pressure amid the pandemic, the Institute for Supply Management said on Monday.

"The April Manufacturing PMI registered 60.7 percent, a decrease of 4 percentage points from the March reading of 64.7 percent," ISM Chairman Timothy Fiore said in a statement. "Survey Committee Members reported that their companies and suppliers continue to struggle to meet increasing rates of demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts limiting availability of parts and materials."

Fiore said the March survey showed the US economy in expansion mode for the 11th straight month, after contracting in April 2020. The reading of 64.7 for ISM'S manufacturing index last month was the highest since 1983.

Despite that, a year of business disruptions caused by the pandemic had led to a surge in prices of many commodities, including copper, lumber and soybeans, and supply tightness was everywhere, suffocating factories turning out finished products, Fiore said.

"Soaring prices and widespread shortages of parts, materials and labor threaten to undercut fast-growing American manufacturers and throw up a roadblock to a US economy still recovering from the coronavirus," he added.

The economy grew by 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2021, after a 4.3 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2020, the Commerce Department said last week.

Consumer prices, the key gauge for US inflation, meanwhile, rose 0.6 percent in March for its highest growth in nearly a decade, data showed.